The key to doing justice
None of us are responsible before God to address every injustice in the world.
Even Jesus, God’s own Messiah-Son, didn’t heal every leper in Israel or give sight to every blind man in Galilee. He certainly left this world with many souls still in captivity.
But Jesus’ goal wasn’t to personally bring metanoeo to every soul on the planet.
On the very evening he was being betrayed to those who wanted to kill him, Jesus told his Father he had completed his assignment: “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. … I have told these men about you. … I have passed on to them the words you gave me; and they accepted them and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.”
Jesus had laid a hand of healing compassion on who-knows-how-many broken souls. He had explained the Kingdom to multitudes in terms even the simplest soul could understand. Most importantly, however, he passed on the Truth to the small group of men God had given him out of the world.
Jesus didn’t think he had the option of subcontracting his responsibility to government, missionaries, or NGOs. He couldn’t allow himself to be apathetic about the oppression of others just because he was free and comfortable himself. He knew he couldn’t cultivate ignorance about injustice and deceive himself that if he didn’t see oppression in the normal course of his daily life, it must not exist.
Unlike us, Jesus saw injustice everywhere he turned. He knew broken souls aren’t healed by programs. Captives aren’t set free by dropping off a bag of clothes or buying a pair of “justice” shoes. Abundant life multiplies from one transformed heart into the specific individual hearts God has planned. Disciples are made as one follower invests his life, teaching someone else to how to find freedom and walk in God’s ways.
Jesus didn’t personally bring metanoeo to every soul on the planet. He didn’t have to. He did, however, have to bring God’s Revolution to the specific people God had set aside for him.
And God’s plan was for each of the souls Jesus touched to bring a specific group of others into the Kingdom, who in turn would reach their own God-picked brothers and sisters. And so it would go – across centuries, across millennia – until someone showed you the path to freedom.
Has it ever occurred to you that genealogical research could trace your New Life lineage all the way back to Jesus?
Social media are making our generation heartbreakingly more aware of injustice. If we look, we see the stories everywhere we turn: Women forced into sex trafficking. Entire families coerced into slave labor. AIDS widows dying alone of their husbands’ diseases. The list goes on and on. The enormity of it all can be overwhelming.
The good news is, one person can make a world of difference. In fact, you personally can set in motion a ripple of life-change that, in God’s providence, could become a tidal wave of transformation – for you, for people in need, for those around you that God will call into mission along with you.
The place to start engaging justice issues is not donating to a ministry. While there are many organizations doing excellent work around the world – work too dangerous, complex, or remote for novices – there also are some groups that merely appeal to our consumer mentality. They offer us a commercial transaction that may not actually help people discover abundant lives, but is guaranteed to make us feel better and give us a souvenir that proclaims our social conscience.
We do donate generously to legitimate organizations that need our support to bring new lives and New Life to people in need. But we know the Kingdom isn’t about buying bangles and baubles; it’s about God’s redeeming power giving new birth – one life into another. Jesus brought justice into your life when he began setting you free from your captivity, and he plans to use his relationship with you to bring Kingdom justice into the lives of others.
The key to “doing justice” – and changing the world – is your redemptive personal relationship with the specific individuals God has set aside for you to help.
It’s messy and can be painful. It will cost you everything.
But it’s how you glorify God by completing the work he prepared you to do.
Think about it
How does it change your thinking about Jesus that, before going to the cross, he said he had completed the work God had given him?
Why is it so hard to enter a redemptive personal relationship with badly broken people?
This mother gives away her children
Instead of receiving flowers on Mother’s Day last year, Susan Quaid* marked the day by giving away a child. Click here to read more.
Next chapter: ‘On earth as it is in heaven’